Interviewee Profile

Name: Lhakey
(Alias: No)

Gender: Female

Interview Age: 77

Date of Birth: 1940

Birthplace: Sakya - Khaphuchay, Utsang, Tibet

Year Left Tibet: 1960

Profession: Farming, Herding

Monk/Nun: No

Political Prisoner: No

Interview Details

Interview No.: 32C

Date: 2016-09-24

Language: Tibetan

Location: Albany, California, United States

Categories: Culture and History

Keywords: Buddhist beliefs, childhood memories, children's games, Chinese -- oppression under, customs/traditions, farm life, food/drink, herding, thamzing/struggle sessions, Utsang


Lhakey was born in a small village consisting of seven families near Sakya in Utsang. She lived with her father, two mothers and seven siblings. A younger wife was added to the family in order to help with herding, while the older wife stayed at home to do the cooking and household chores. Lhakey started herding sheep at the age of 5 and explains how the adults and children cared for the sheep and watched for predators, such as wolves and martens.

Lhakey describes the food they ate and the different chores assigned to young boys and girls, such as spinning wool and making shoes. She also had time to play games with other children and demonstrates a game of tossing and catching stones. Her family owned a large farm where they grew vegetables, grains and mustard from which oil was extracted. Lhakey learned to recite Buddhist prayers and believes a devoted practice is beneficial for all sentient beings.

At the age of 18 or 19 Lhakey was married to man who worked as an attendant for Lama Kala, sister of His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya. After the Chinese invaded, Lama Kala was arrested and publicly beaten many times. The villagers were forced to denounce the religious leaders and many others were imprisoned and severely beaten as well. One lama committed suicide by stuffing khata 'ceremonial scarves' down his throat. Lhakey and many of her family members managed to flee to India in 1960.

Interview Team:

  • Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
  • Kunga Choeden (Interpreter)
  • Lobsang Thinley (Videographer)
Interview Video

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Interview with Lhakey on 10/24/2016

Length: 01:51:17

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